Lancashire set to invest £15 million on electric car chargers

June 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Lancashire set to invest £15 million on electric car chargers § permalink

The scheme would see 150 charging points be installed across the county by March 2018, but some people wonder if the money could be spent elsewhere.

Lancashire County Council successfully bid for the £14.8m from the Department for Transport.

But some community leaders have spoken out, saying the money should be used to save bus and library services that are being callously cut across Lancashire.
With libraries and bus services in every town across the county facing cuts, many believe this would be the better option.
However, others think we need to invest in the future of energy saving.
It is hoped the first machines will be installed in early 2017 once contract providers have been appointed.
Money secured from the Department for Transport will also go to replacing street lights with new LED bulbs, which could save up to £500,000 a year.

100 electric car charging stations to be installed around Oxford in world’s biggest scheme

January 25th, 2016 § Comments Off on 100 electric car charging stations to be installed around Oxford in world’s biggest scheme § permalink

ONE HUNDRED new charging points will be created in residential streets in Oxford to make electric vehicle ownership possible for 16,000 extra homes.

The largest pilot of its kind in the world will begin when 30 trial points of various kinds are installed in pavements and lampposts by the end of this year.

The most successful types of charger points will then be rolled out in 100 residential streets around the city, probably from 2018.

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council hope to encourage thousands more people to buy electric cars to help cut emissions in the city.

City executive board member for climate change, John Tanner, said: “Climate change and poor air quality are two of the biggest issues facing Oxford and we all need to do everything we can to cut vehicle emissions.

“However, for people living in Oxford’s beautiful but narrow terraced streets, charging an electric car is a real problem. This project aims to remove that barrier.

“By installing 100 electric charging points, we are going to turn the Oxford into a city filled with electric avenues.” » Read the rest of this entry «

More Scots are plugging in electric cars

November 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on More Scots are plugging in electric cars § permalink

SALES of electric cars are increasing but still account for just one per cent of the motor trade in Scotland.
The Scottish Government is keen to support more people to invest in vehicles not powered by polluting fossil fuels, and more than 600 public charge points have now been installed across the country.

There are now more than 600 electric vehicle charging points in Scotland

There are also a range of financial incentives to encourage motorists to switch to an electric car. The Energy Saving Trust offers interest-free loans of up to £50,000 to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle under a new fund, while those who do take the plunge can take advantage of full grant funding via the ChargePlace Scotland programme for an electric car charge point to be installed in their home.

But although sales are up, the number of electric vehicles on the road north of the border remains comparatively low.

“In the past year we have seen a 70 per cent rise in sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is in line with the motoring industry,” said Scott Willis, sales director at Arnold Clark Group, the country’s largest car sales firm.

“Although this accounts for only one per cent of overall motoring sales, we do expect this to rise exponentially.”
In the past year we have seen a 70 per cent rise in sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is inline with the motoring industry

Scott Willis, sales director at Arnold Clark Group

Glasgow City Council, Scotland’s largest local authority, has installed 64 electric vehicle charging points across the city. This figure will rise to 78 by the end of the year.

A spokeswoman said they were a combination of rapid and fast chargers and the council also had plans to install further charging points in 2016.

The sites are a mixture of on-road, in council owned multi-storey car parks and at sporting venues such as the Emirates Arena in the east end.

Drivers can charge their electric vehicle free of charge in the city.

The scale of the task in convincing motorists that electric cars are as reliable as traditional petrol-powered vehicles was further revealed in February when the RAC Foundation reported that almost half of the charge points in Scotland were unused during one month in 2014.

There was a wide variation across Scotland, with all Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling chargers used but none of East Dunbartonshire – where the council had yet to connect its chargers to the mains.
The number of charge points has since increased.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The encouraging news is that electric car sales in the UK are at last showing signs of improvement, but we still have a charging network in Scotland that is running below capacity.

“Part of the reason for installing public charge points is to help drivers overcome their fear of range anxiety, but this does not come cheap.

“This data also suggests a good proportion of charge points are located on private premises including council sites. This is encouraging as it was always envisaged that fleet operators would lead the way in the electric revolution.”

The Nissan Leaf, which is sold for around £21,500, is currently the UK’s most popular electric vehicle, with almost 6,000 cars registered by the third quarter of 2014.

Another ILS tech startup development: Charge your Car In minutes…

September 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on Another ILS tech startup development: Charge your Car In minutes… § permalink

Researchers at startup StoreDot work on a new type of battery.An Israeli startup is planning on bringing its fast charging batteries to electric cars.

Tesla’s fast chargers can add about 170 miles worth of electricity to its cars’ batteries in about 30 minutes. If an Israeli startup achieves its goal, electric cars could travel hundreds of miles after only five minutes of charging.

On Wednesday three-year-old startup StoreDot, said that it’s raised $18 million in funding from the investing arm of Korean electronics giant Samsung and Russian investor Roman Abramovich. The company, which has raised $66 million in total, plans to spend the latest investment on getting its fast-charging battery into electric cars.

Many companies are focused on various ways to boost the range of the batteries used to power electric cars. Some companies like Tesla and Panasonic are focused on making lower cost batteries that can store more energy in a single charge. Others, like the now defunct Israeli startup Better Place, have tried to build stations that use a robotic arm to quickly remove empty batteries from cars and replace them with charged ones. Still others are building out networks of electric car chargers in shopping centers and office parking lots that drivers can use to refill cars when necessary.
Whatever technology can help make electric cars more competitive with, or even superior to, gasoline-powered cars could be a significant and valuable innovation. Batteries, the most expensive part of an electric car, can offer up to 265 miles on a single charge. Using a standard charger, those best-in-class batteries take several hours to fully charge. With a much more expensive fast charger, called a DC charger, those batteries can still take over 30 minutes to top off.

Concerns over slow and inconvenient charging is partly to blame for the limited adoption of electric cars. Americans bought only 118,000 electric cars last year compared to 16.5 million new vehicles of all types sold last year.

StoreDot, founded in 2012, is working on a rather unusual way to try to tackle this battery problem. It’s developed a brand new type of lithium-ion battery that it says can be fully charged in just a few minutes. In theory that would make filling up an electric car as fast and convenient as filling up with gas at a service station.

The company, and its team of scientists, have used nanotechnology to make new organic materials that make up a battery that can be charged and discharged more rapidly than standard lithium-ion batteries. The company has 50 employees, including 20 researchers with PhD’s.
One problem with a standard lithium-ion battery is that there are various elements — due to both the materials used and the design of the battery — that block the flow of the current inside the battery and make it more difficult to deliver spikes of power. This is called a battery’s internal “resistance.”

StoreDot has optimized its battery to have as low a resistance as possible. Working at the tiny molecular level, StoreDot has used its new materials to make very thin battery electrodes, which is the part of the battery that charges and discharges. The thin electrode layers — so thin they’re “almost transparent” says StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf — help reduce the resistance, and the current can rapidly flow through the battery within minutes.

The startup is now testing its batteries in cell phones and with a handful of big cellphone makers. Myersdorf says he expects to sign a commercial deal with a cell phone maker within “a couple of quarters,” and get the company’s batteries into the consumer cell phones sometime next year.

For electric cars, though, it will take much longer. StoreDot is using the funding to create a division to focus on retooling its cell phone batteries for electric cars. Even if everything goes well, StoreDot’s batteries wouldn’t be ready for commercial electric cars for at least another five years.

But as any battery startup can attest, many things can wrong between now and then. It’s very difficult to move battery tech from the lab into the commercial marketplace, and it’s still unclear whether carmakers would be interested in its yet-to-be-developed battery alternative.

Other startups that are working on new types of electric car batteries include Sakti3, QuantumScape, Seeo, XG Sciences, Envia Systems and SolidEnergy Systems. According to research firm Lux Research, Panasonic holds 39% of the marketshare for batteries for electric cars, while LG Chem and Samsung SDI are also big players.

Wilmslow one of first to get charging points for electric vehicles

June 22nd, 2015 § Comments Off on Wilmslow one of first to get charging points for electric vehicles § permalink

wilmslow june 2015 003

Cheshire East Council has secured government grant funding to provide electric vehicle recharging points for local road users.

The grant funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (Olev) will enable the Council to provide six 50kV rapid charging units – two of which will be in the Sainsbury’s car park off South Drive. The others will be in Princess Street car park in Congleton and Love Lane in Nantwich. » Read the rest of this entry «

Cheltenham Bikes installs electric car charging points at its Railway Station HQ

May 19th, 2015 § Comments Off on Cheltenham Bikes installs electric car charging points at its Railway Station HQ § permalink

Cheltenham could now become a hub for eco-conscious drivers with the successful installation of electric car charging points.

Cheltenham Bikes has added the car charging points at its Railway Station HQ and will enable those with carbon-conscious cars to stop off for a boost.

The business, which now runs the first RAPIDcar charging point in Cheltenham, and one of only four in the county, will enable drivers to fully re-charge their car in just 40 minutes.

Steve Short, director of Cheltenham Bikes and Compass Holidays said: “We’re really pleased to have the new car charging points, and we think they’ll prove really popular as a rapid charging solution.

» Read the rest of this entry «

An #EV Drive to [The #EV hole of] Essex… for the very last time [READ]

March 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on An #EV Drive to [The #EV hole of] Essex… for the very last time [READ] § permalink

You know when you plan your trim in your electric car, presumably, you Do have an electric car and you Do drive distances….

It’s the usual places, Zap-Map, Electric Highway maps, just to ensure you Do have the charging facility at your destination?

Well, i did too. And my route, from London’s Brent Cross to Braintree basically shows One RapidCharging point,ChargeYourCar Essex which i can really use – at the Destination – By ChargeYourCar. (George Yard Car Park
Pierrefitte Way, Braintree, CM7 1RB)


The Route



google_map_route Googlemaps Looks pretty straight forward, 57 odd miles a single way. So return trip (round-up) is 120 miles. That Stop in Braintree better work! I mean, there is no other way alternative. All rapid Chargers, – Ecotricity supplied (accessed 24/7) or otherwise – Thank you Nissan Dealers(accessible 9-5pm) – are not that close.

Zap-Map shows a …well, a black hole of Essex. If the Braintree RCDC is broken, im stuffed big time. So far, ChargeYourCar app is showing, (along with the website version) said that it is online and active – “Good News Everyone!”.


So, we’re set for a roadtrip!


ChargeYourCar Map

Annoying thing: there is no information about opening or closing time.




Never mind, – i’m thinking “council car park”, i’m thinking “24/7 access”. And finally, i only “am thinking…” that bit once i’m already close, 2 miles away and it’s nearly 7:30PM.


What really happened?

Wow, well, First of all, – and in “general”, nothing sinister. ChargeYourCar location really does exist.

I found it. its relatively easy to use. Its 43KW feed. So be prepared to wait 40 odd minutes if you arrive on near-nil.

The Bad/Cons of this Charger: First of all there is a “closing time” for this location. opening hours are 7am something  – still not sure, until 7:30pm. The closing time – just, just – is when I arrived. I was promptly flagged by a parking team and advised that i should be leaving now – its Closing Time!

Oh Joy! Not.

Personally, i still find it incredible that who-ever decides to have a rapid charger – indeed one-amazing-convenience-charger for electric car – ironically to be PAID by the travelling EV driver (yes, this charge was meant to cost me £5 – a fair amount unlike £7.50 SOME charging companies arbitrary charge EV Drivers) – oh yes, – have Closing Time.

I mean, its bad enough they are too few and far between but like “cinderella”, we – EV drivers are “allowed” to drive and charge our cars on all our #ev trips during day-time only. This was incredibly infuriating.

I went onto Council Website as well, to get FYI on this charger – who knows – maybe i missed the “opening hours bit”.

First, the news article, then i came across the Electric Car Charger [proud] announcement on Braintree Council website as well. Electric Car Charger in Braintree

Braintree Council EV News






Nothing. There is Zero information about any opening or closing times. That explains why ChargeYourCar charging map was blank on that as well – There is missing information.

Simples. And Whodunnit? #badReporting and #badPolicy #notImpressed and indeed #veryDissapointed

So what happened to me?

Well’ first of all “interview” the parking attendant – who eventually was very kind enough to let me stay 21 minutes to get extra 37% range  – yes, that is really poor and slow charging compared to Ecotricity’s Electric Highway – “hello 75A charging *speed*”.

They have said they have never seen an EV charging in that bay – even hearing that in 2015 – and yet somehow, i am not surprised.

I did charge just long enough as much as i was welcomed. I thanked the Parking Team, made my leave, as all the lights were switched off and multi-storey i was locked up. ouch. close car.

You know what else was close call? Well, my 61% charge apparently was not long enough to help me navigate the “hills of essex”. Nissan’s on board Navigation system classically chimed “you may not able to reach you destination” – home.

I re-routed to South Mimms – 55miles later – Thank you Ecotricity’s Electric Highway, – at least as long as it was online – yes it was.

AND – I arrived, barely, on “- – -” miles and with the warning message of “please find the nearest charging point…”

CYC Braintree charger its 2 bars! at Braintree. this is taking aaaages, 21 minutes and counting..  We're done. Thank you Ecotricity Time to leave Braintree CYC rapid charger made it to Electric Highway on South Mimms OMG i made it CYC Charger

Jesus, Moses and Abraham, but i made it, rolling in to the glowing (and working) screen of ElecHighway’s ABT Charging Point.


I plugged in to find i had 3% of battery charge left. Wow. Close call indeed.

Made it with 3% battery charge remaining


Getting home, that was another 7 miles. So A StarBucks coffee break, topped up and swiftly and finally made it home.

Boy I have had my heart-pumping adrenaline for a while now. I say #ev trips can be on hold for another week. phew.


Lesson to be learned? EV [especially range extending RAPID] Chargers MUST be ACCESSIBLE at ALL times. of DAY or NIGHT.

[Electric] Vehicles are a convenience, actually – a must sometimes and they are to be driven – guess what, – at convenience At ALL Times.

Great stuff: CHAdeMO Announces Milestone Of 1,500 Fast Chargers In Europe

February 13th, 2015 § Comments Off on Great stuff: CHAdeMO Announces Milestone Of 1,500 Fast Chargers In Europe § permalink

The number of CHAdeMO chargers in Europe has finally exceeded the mark of 1,500 thanks to surges in the UK, France and Sweden.

In total, 1,532 units are installed (significant portion are multi-standard with DC Combo or AC plugs).

By the end of the year, another 500 or so multi-standard fast chargers are scheduled for installations through TEN-T projects. These will shoot CHAdeMO to at least 2,000. Maybe more if other projects surface.

“The number of CHAdeMO DC Quick chargers installed up to today is 5259.
– (Japan 2819 Europe 1532 USA 854 Others 54) last update 2015.02.05″

According to CHAdeMO, growth is highest in the US.



Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Vehicles

February 13th, 2015 § Comments Off on Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Vehicles § permalink

Throughout this page we refer to Electric Vehicles as EV’s.

What sort of Electricity does an Electric Car use?

Were often asked this …its ‘normal’ electricity that you have in your house.

Where can I fill up an electric car?

From your house with a 3 pin plug, or an street charger yes it really is that simple.

How van I get a free home charger?

Yes as of today you can ask for a 16 amp wall mounted home charge unit. Be quick as the Government has limited funding and a cut off date of April 2015 or until the funding runs out. You need to have an EV first, once you sign up, you can get it from any electrical installer, read more here.

How fast does an Electric Vehicle charge?

This can be confusing at first, I will keep it simple.

They come in 3 basic levels of rate of charge;- (See the Shop)

1. Type 1 . This is via a 3 pin wall socket and most EV’s have a 3 pin charger with the vehicle. This will charge at 10 amps–which means that in 1 hour you will have 9-10 miles of range added to the battery. A Nissan Leaf at home will recharge in 7-8 hours at 10 amps (ideal for cheap rate overnight tariffs)

2. Type 2 . This is a cable that fits into chargers at motorway service stations (Welcome Break is one) and charges at 16 amps. This gives 18-20 miles of range added to the battery in 1 hour. This is also the same 16 amps charge rate as a wall mounted home charge unit. Buy your cable here.

3. Fast/Rapid charge This is available at Nissan dealers and Ikea stores and Welcome Break service stations, and at around 70amps can completely charge your car (to 80%) in around 25 minutes.

How far can I drive My Electric Car?

On average around 80-90 miles (Nissan /Renault and others say 110 miles plus, but in everyday use 80-90 is more realistic) Your driving style will also affect the range ,driving an EV does make you a more relaxed driver, and its great seeing how you can increase your range whilst you drive too.

With Ecotricity’s Electric Highway (Ecotricity’s Electric Highway), its now possible to drive from London to Leeds via Welcome Break service stations and the fast charge network (an ongoing roll out of a nationwide network of fast chargers). Also Have a look at – all charging locations in the UK.

How much does it cost to charge my electric car at home?

On an overnight cheap tariff around £1.80 ! We do not notice it on our electricity bill at all, and if you have PV (solar panels)on your roof ,the cost is even less ! We get an income of around £1000 a year from our PV (with the Feed In Tariff payments) to ‘fuel’ a Nissan Leaf for 12,000 miles costs around £400 in electricity, so our fuel is on our roof , with £600 in change !

How much does a public charge cost?

Most do not charge (as in ask for money !!) as the amount in £’s is so small. For example, in the case of Welcome break, with 25 minutes on hand you will probably buy a coffee, in which case Welcome break have earned some money from your spending!

You may require a swipe card to access the public chargers, most of which are free ,some have a small yearly subscription (around £10).

At Home, overnight you are looking (depending on tariff) About £2.70, to £4.00 Daytime Tariff. (example based on me) To work it out – get KwH Price x Total Battery Capacity which is 24 kWh battery pack – which consists of 48 modules.. Anyhow you will see it’s about 10p/kwh and you have 24kwh battery = total cost of charge => £2.40

Will I need to pay the Congestion Charge in London for my electric car or van?

No,electric vehicles are 100% Congestion Charge exempt ,I will happily fill in all the forms for you.

I live over 100 miles away, how can I get to you at Eco Cars?

If you’ve watched the video tour of the car you’d like , and spoken to me, them I’m happy to transport your EV to your door with our 4×4 and trailer. Simple!

delivery of your new electric carI also collect customers from East Midlands Airport (a number of EV’s have gone to Ireland and customers have flown in, then driven the EV back to Ireland)

Service costs for an Electric Vehicle?

Very, very low, as there’s no oil, clutches, pistons, spark plugs, belts etc. Most EVs require a yearly check on the brakes, tyres, lights and a pollen filter change (this keeps the inside of the car smelling nice!) All it costs is around £100 for a yearly check over. My Personal EV service on my evmeerkat cost me £109 and recent Nissan Leaf Service also cost me £109.

Life of the batteries in an Electric Car?

To date I’ve yet to read of any modern EV’s requiring new batteries , most vehicles have a modules set up. The Nissan Leaf consists of 48 modules and each module contains four cells, a total of 192 cells. If the range starts to drop, all that is required is to replace the module or cell that’s causing the problem. It’s a myth that the whole battery will need replacing.

Nissan guarantees the batteries health to remain 9/12 bars for up-to 5 years.

Costs of battery replacement in an electric vehicle?

As battery technology improves, costs are reducing. In years to come it may be possible to retrofit a set of batteries to increase the range and performance of the vehicle.

Also, Recent Announcement in 2014 about Nissan Leaf (particular) battery replacement programme enables all out-of-warranty Nissan Leaf owners to replace their car battery for £4,200 thereabout.

You can read of an owners account of a Nissan Leaf with 78,000 miles on the clock which he’s done in 2 years (Nissan leaf owner with 78,000 miles) There has been no loss in range or power. There are also UK based Nissan Leaf owners with over 30,000 miles covered and the cars are still running fine.

See Electric Cars for Sale

The Sorry State of SourceLondon Charging Network but Uptime is reported to improve soon.

November 25th, 2014 § Comments Off on The Sorry State of SourceLondon Charging Network but Uptime is reported to improve soon. § permalink

SourceLondon has a network of some 1300+ chargers in London and it is supposedly growing, – all very welcomed facts. But there is an issue, a serious Stick-in-wheels of progress, and that is the network’s charging points uptime.

This latter has been plaguing EV Drivers in London for some time now.

With some 25+% of the charging infrastructure down, The Issue with the charging network such as SourceLondon, especially following the takeover by the French group Bollore, is that it is not entirely clear who is still supporting the infrastructure. Who do EV Drivers need to contact to get charging issues resolved, as often, despite best attempts of contact and reporting issues, the chargers are left in disrepair for months.

Not all is gloom, as there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Things are changing.

Evidently not fast enough for the average EV Drivers, but there is hope. There is now a whole new, suffice to say, well-designed website and even an iOS and android app to go along that, but the LIVE status for these charging points is not (yet) guaranteed.

» Read the rest of this entry «

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